Five-star Ladies move up to fourth after Bowden triumph

Evelyn Wright was on target as Harrogate Ladies 1s beat Bowden Ladies 2s at Ainsty Raod. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Evelyn Wright was on target as Harrogate Ladies 1s beat Bowden Ladies 2s at Ainsty Raod. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1s climbed up to fourth place in the North Division One standings courtesy of a fine 5-1 home triumph over Bowden 2s.

Rachel Till’s side were unbeaten in five matches going into Saturday’s encounter and they began brightly against the team who started the day one position above them in the table.

They took the lead when Lucy Wood drove down the baseline and slipped the ball back for Shelly Harrison to finish off.

‘Gate doubled their advantage shortly afterwards following a short-corner, Freya Wilde calmly powering home a drag-flick from the top of the D.

Bowden pulled a goal back before half-time, but the hosts were straight back into their stride from the resumption and went 3-1 up from another short-corner, Wilde firing a ball in for captain Till to deflect home.

Goalkeeper Caz Hurst was then forced into making a couple of fine saves as the visitors threatened a comeback, but the game was put to bed when Wood found Sarah Gibbins to net Harrogate’s fourth of the day.

The final goal of the game was a real crowd-pleaser from Evelyn Wright, who skilfully beat three defenders before using quick hands to take the ball around the Bowden keeper and finishing neatly.

‘Gate’s 2s were also on top form on Saturday, returning from their trip to Selby 1s with a 3-1 victory.

A deft finish by Ali Wales moved them ahead with just three minutes played, and there were no more goals before the interval.

Following a series of short-corners, skipper Jenny Allen doubled the lead before Selby hit back to halve the deficit.

The Granby side were not to be denied, however, and Wales scored again late on to wrap things up.

Em Adshead was the star of the show as the club’s 3s beat City of York 4s by a 3-0 scoreline on Saturday.

Adshead registered her side’s first two goals, before Claire Turner added a third.

On Sunday, the 3s were back in action and managed a 2-2 draw with Leeds Adel 3s thanks to strike from Turner and Gabi Wilkinson.

The Ladies 4s also shared four goals equally when they visited Horsforth 1s.

The hosts moved into a two-goal lead early on in the contest, however captain Laura Mounsey pulled one back before Sophia Bottomley set up sister Saskia to level matters.

The 5s claimed a 3-2 success on the road at Leeds University 5s.

Matilda Van-Breemen and Ella Hampson notched to put the visitors 2-0 up, and although Leeds fought back, an own goal saw ‘Gate emerge victorious.

In a game of two halves, it was Stockton who left North Yorkshire with all three points after a backs-against-the-wall performance that leaves Harrogate Mens 1s still waiting for their first North Division One win of 2018.

The visitors started on the front foot and took a deserved lead after Harrogate squandered possession.

The shell-shocked home team soon found themselves 2-0 down after some questionable defending left a Stockton attacker with an easy back post finish.

The lead was nearly extended two minutes later but keeper Rob Stanworth, playing his 150th consecutive 1st XI match, managed to get down low to prevent a shot from hitting the backboard.

Stanworth then became a spectator as the home team finally awoke from their stupor.

Charles Edmondson struck with a trademark finish before Andrew Clemerson saw two shots saved on the goal-line in a frantic second half.

Aflie Weaver and Edmondson also went close as the home side set up camp in the opposition half.

However, after some resolute defending and effective time wasting, the away side managed to escape with maximum points.

Defeat leaves Will Rogers’ side eighth in the table and facing a relegation battle following a run of six losses in their last seven games.

Harrogate Mens 2s fared somewhat better, winning by a 3-2 scoreline on the road at Huddersfield Dragons 2s.

The Mens 3s were also able to celebrate a victory, beating Tadcaster Magnets 1s 5-3 on home turf.

‘Gate 4s had a busy weekend, edging out Slazenger 2s 1-0 on Saturday before drawing 3-3 at Thirsk & Malton 2s 24 hours later.